Should the Human Centipede sequel really be banned?

July 4, 2011

With the BBFC’s rejection of Tom Six’s body-mutilation horror sequel The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), the question comes round again about what we should and shouldn’t be allowed to watch in our own homes.

Whilst the first film, the gruesome tale of German surgeon’s fascination with sewing people together, was given an 18 certificate – allowing distribution by any medium in the UK so long as it was to someone of age - the sequel has been denied a certificate for home release.

This effectively makes it illegal in the UK; No DVD, digital download, streaming or any other distribution for home viewing permitted by United Kingdom law.

The reason?

Asides from being expectedly nasty and in bad-taste (which, lets be honest, is probably the appeal of the film) it is also considered in breach of the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964.

That is to say that the BBFC think the content is so bad as to have the potential to harm a significant proportion of those who watch it, and encourage illegal and immoral conduct.

This is a lot to suspect of a 1.5/2 hour piece of cinema, which however questionable is still a fictional piece.

The question arises whether such rulings should be forced on the home viewer, or whether such law is even realistically enforceable considering the ease of which content can be obtained – should someone really want to.

Not that this writer is a fan of piracy but the viewing habits of people is more than ever the remit of home-viewing, which by nature is determined by personal responsibility and privacy.

I can certainly say for myself that no horror flick has made me want to commit murder, nor any other visual media inspired a crime-spree in me.

However I can’t speak for anyone else, and that’s exactly the problem when laying down the law in that it is impersonal.

For every hundred of responsible people, there’s the one who makes the headlines for thinking they were actually in a slasher film.

The debate rages on, but I wouldn’t expect a revolution happening any time soon to ensure this film get released.

After all, people who want it will find it anyway.


Comments in chronological order (2 comments)

  1. Madness says:

    I believe that the reason it was banned was due to it not actually showing the people as characters, and them simply being vehicles for the antagonist’s pleasure. That kinda seems like a reason to ban it, sort of…

    It’s a thorny issue.

  2. Joe West says:

    Yes this is partly why the BBFC have considered it obscene. The characters are not portrayed sympathetically, but rather figures for one man’s desires. Since the film largely follows that one man’s desires this film has been viewed more akin to a pornographic film rather than a horror.

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